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My How Things Have Changed

December 18th, 2006

Five years ago, it was almost impossible to get a good espresso anywhere in Costa Rica. For a country that grows coffee, I was mystified why no one knew how to brew it.

I grew up with terrible coffee. That’s why I never drank it. The watery cup of java was acidic and bitter. I couldn’t see what my parents saw in it. Then, I discovered espresso. This is how the little bean that lifts us up was meant to be enjoyed. Unfortunately, a huge machine the price of a small car used to be needed to produce this wonderful brew. Only a few could afford it. Continue reading »

The Winds of December

December 3rd, 2006

How can you tell it’s December in Central Costa Rica? Well besides the obvious, the bamboo wind chimes on our patio do not stop chiming until Christmas and often much later.

December is the transition month from Winter to Summer. Kids are on vacation. Traffic truly sucks and just getting anywhere is a hassle. Holiday decorations went up weeks ago. The Festival of Lights is acomin’. And there is the wind.

Me? I love it! Nights are low to mid 60’s… breezy… blanket time… great sleeping weather! The days are high 70’s with a wind chill that makes it feel like maybe 72-73. Skies are mostly blue. Little or no rain now, even in the afternoons, though this can vary.

It is my favorite month. Christmas thoughts. Family thoughts. Comfy.

I wish you all the happiest of holidays. May you and your family be blessed. May your dreams come true.

Mine have.

Just a Little Bit About Myself

November 24th, 2006

If I may take a moment of your time, I’d like to properly introduce myself. My name is Susan Carmichael.  Tim said he erased the last introduction I did, but oh well, there’s always time for a second chance.

Continue reading »

You’ll Probably Find Me at the Mall

November 21st, 2006

I’ve lived in Costa Rica for eight years, and know exactly what I need from the U.S. when I travel back for visits. Tap shoes were high on my list one year. As I first time parent, I figured this is what we do: enroll our daughters in tap classes. I’d bought a pair at a used clothes store in the U.S. for $1 in anticipation that my daughter would want to take tap class. The shoes were too big.

Continue reading »

Funny thing, I’ve Become Accustomed to This Place

November 18th, 2006

Hello, I’m Susan Carmichael, and this is a little bit of my story.

My contact with Costa Rica began as a tourist. Helen Keller said that life is a daring adventure or nothing at all. So in 1998, I took the leap and moved here in search of a less hectic life. A few other reasons may have swayed my decision. Perhaps living in the United States left me a little sour, prickly around the edges. My physical health a wreck, I hoped paradise would deliver me a little closer to fine.

Continue reading »

New Author for This Blog

November 18th, 2006

Susan Carmichael will be our newest contributor.

Susan lives here in Costa Rica and busies herself raising her two kids. She will provide readers with an expatriate mom’s view of Costa Rica that may well be of interest to other parents planning to move to Costa Rica with the younguns. She will address all the hot topics of interest to moms in general i.e. vomiting and diarrhea, schooling, bugs… etc.

Actually, Susan already submitted her first two posts, but like a bonehead, I managed to erase the first one, so you don’t get the intro post until she re-submits it.

Susan will have her own Category, so keep up to date by checking it regularly.

Welcome Susan!

Where is Nora?

November 8th, 2006

That is the question being asked by some of our regular readers. Nora Schild is moving to Costa Rica… VERY soon… and has been contributing posts detailing her adventure.

The problem is… she has suddenly stopped writing! I have called her home in Missouri and chatted with her husband on several occasions. She is NEVER home! Now this is odd! For a woman only weeks away from the BIG MOVE, she seems to never be in her home!

This makes me wonder if she has been the subject of foul play! Perhaps her husband, driven loco by a woman bent on the expat lifestyle, has done away with her! Perhaps she is buried in the cold, cold Missouri soil behind the house!

Thus, I am making one more plea… Nora? Where are you? If alive, please write or call.

(signed)

Yo

New Traffic Laws in Costa Rica

November 1st, 2006

Now THIS otta be fun! For those of you who actually live (and drive) in Costa Rica, your eyes must be doing a 360 about right now. Mine sure did. For those of you who have not had the ummm… pleasure… of interfacing with a Tico on the roads of CR… well… I bit of explaining may be in order.

Continue reading »

Central Bank Changes and the Effect on Currency Exchanges and Interest

October 29th, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, the Central Bank of Costa Rica decided to stop the ages-old policy of setting a daily buy/sell rate (exchange rate) for converting dollars to colones and vice versa. This daily exchange rate was known as the tipo de cambio, and was generally a very small spread, maybe 2.5-4 colones. It changed every day, increasing a fraction of a colone and thus devaluing the currency against the dollar… daily.

Continue reading »

Expat Interviews provides a Window to the World of Expats

October 26th, 2006

Victor Volder lives in the Netherlands. Lizza Capucion lives in the Phillipines and the two of them run an interesting web site, Expat Interviews. They ought to interview themselves so we can all know how they hooked up!

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